DES MOINES -- There’s a delicate balance for runners who qualify for the track and field state meet in the 200- and 400-meter dashes.
Because there is little more than a half-hour between the races on the opening day of the three-day event, a runner has to decide whether to go all out in the 200, which is just a qualifier for Saturday’s final; ease off in the 200 to make sure there’s something left in the tank for the 400, which is a final; or doing something in between.
The decision worked well for Camanche’s Derek Harksen on Thursday at Drake Stadium, but not so well for Bellevue/Marquette Catholic’s Sarah Lampe.
Harksen placed third in his heat (23.018 seconds) and qualified seventh overall for Saturday’s final in the Class 2A 200, then earned runner-up points in the 400, where he finished second to Cherokee’s Marc Husman. Husman finished in 49.04 seconds, Harksen in 49.73.
“I was hoping for first, but I’m OK with second,” Harksen said. “He got out quick. I probably should have run my race instead of trying to keep up with him.”
Harksen admitted he put the emphasis on the 400.
“It wasn’t like I wasn’t trying in the 200,” he said. “I was trying to save it in the 200 because I was (seeded) higher (in the 400). I don’t think I can get first (in the 200), but I’m already in, so I get a medal.”
Lampe, on the other hand, put on a hard charge to win her heat of the 200 in 26.07 and qualify fourth for Saturday’s final. But, she seemed to hit a wall at about the 100-meter mark of the 400 and finished last in her heat and 16th overall. This from the runner who led 2A much of the year in the event and still had the second-best time entering the state meet.